The First United Methodist Church’s annual Country Store had one of its biggest years ever on Oct. 5, organizers said.
The Country Store is a one-day event planned and organized by First United Methodist Church members and held every year in the church’s Fellowship Hall. The Country Store features homemade food and crafts and is open from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on the first Saturday in October.
When the church doors opened for the event, there were already about a dozen Del Rioans in line, hoping to get a chance to scoop up some of the popular frozen casseroles and other good-to-eat treats being offered for sale.
This year, the Country Store featured casseroles for every taste, including chicken noodle, chicken spaghetti, tuna, elk lasagna, Pace picante sauce enchilada, chicken Alfredo, beef stroganoff, chicken asparagus and beef spaghetti.
The store also featured homemade soups like taco soup, smoked venison sausage chowder and creamy pumpkin. Also for sale were a variety of breads, cakes, pies and cookies.
Crafts for Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas were also sold at the store vand included festive holiday centerpieces, decorative faux flower arrangements, wood crafts, ornaments and fiber and fabric pieces.
Organizers said there are about 30 craftspeople that participate and provide items for the event.
“It went great. I know we raised more than $6,000, making this one of the biggest, if not the biggest, year we’ve ever had,” said organizer Jeri Kynion.
All of the funds raised from sales at the Country Store go to help feed the community’s hungry residents.
“We are not raising funds for the church. We do not keep any of the money. We keep enough to advertise next year’s event, and all the rest goes to the needy and the hungry,” organizer Jonella Pride said during one of the event’s organizational meetings.
Organizer Marva Martwig said much of the funding goes to the public school district’s “backpack” program.